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Brazilians Still on Top as Barao, Aldo Retain Championships on Super Saturday at UFC 169

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BY NISAR KHAN


UFC 169: Barao vs. Faber II
Saturday 1 February 2014
Prudential Center, Newark, NJ.

NEW YORK - Renan Barao held on to the UFC Bantamweight Championship with a TKO victory over Urijah Faber in Round 1, while his teammate Jose Aldo cruised to a decision victory over Ricardo Lamas at UFC 169.

The Grand Finale
Renan Barao got his sixth straight win inside the Octagon on Saturday night
IMAGE COURTESY: UFC.com


With the SuperBowl set in New Jersey for the night after, the Octagon took center stage on Super Saturday with two titles on the line.

Alistair Overreem won a big fight against Frank Mir, as we saw shades of the old powerhouse style of "The Reem" with a dominating performance over the former World Champion. 

Seven preliminary bouts prior to the main card featured no finishes, with all fights ending in decision victories. 

Preliminary Bouts

Neil Magny opened the night with a comfortable unanimous decision victory in the first fight of the card. Sharp, effective and quick, he was able to convincingly defeat Gasan Umalatov, who looked sluggish and poorly tuned for the fight.

Two newcomers Tony Martin and Rashid Magomedov put on a good showing in the second online preliminary fight. Tony Martin edged his opponent in a unanimous decision victory despite being caught in a nasty armbar in the second round. 

The next phase of the preliminary fights featured three wins from unanimous decision, as Al Iaquinta, Chris Cariaso and Alan Patrick were victorious. The other win was in the form of split decision with Nick Catone defeating Tom Watson.

In a preliminary card that lacked even a single finish, it's dull action was overshadowed by poor judging that saw Alan Patrick defeat John Makdessi.

Abel Trujillo def. Jamie Varner
via Knockout, 2:32 into Round 2

Abel Trujillo made a comeback on the backfoot to extraordinarily knockout Jamie Varner in a spectacular fight to open the main card.

Jamie Varner spent a large amount of time in the first round attempting a North-South Choke, but was unable to fully secure the pressure and let it out with over a minute remaining in the round. As a result of his choke attempt, his right arm was now tiring and fatigued, although that wouldn't stop either fighter from swinging wildly at each other prior and after the choke attempt. 

Both would also wildly swing for each other to open the second round. Jamie Varner was gaining an advantage as they traded, and at one point Abel Truijillo was up against the fence with him taking huge shots, but the key here was that he was throwing some big ones back. Fans at the Prudential Center were on their feet as they traded, then out of nowhere, as Jamie Varner came forward to Abel Trujillo landed a picture-perfect right hand that would completely level Jamie Varner for an extraordinary knockout win.

"I was hurting like a mug", Abel Trujillo told Joe Rogan following the fight, describing how he felt when Jamie Varner was landing huge shots on to him. When the knockout landed, Trujillo thought three words, "Thank you God". 

Some key lessons are learned here, the first is that Abel Trujillo has one hell of a chin and can take real punishment. This fight was also a clear indicator of the risk you take in exchanges with this. Abel Trujillo was on the verge of a knockout, but it took one shot to put Varner away.


GIF Abel Trujillo ends the fight with a sudden knockout of Jamie Varner

Ali Bagautinov def. John Lineker
via Unanimous Decision(29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Ali Bagautinov picked up another win in the Flyweight Division as he outclassed John Lineker in a unanimous decision victory over the Brazillian.

John Lineker attempted an initially-unwise-looking heel-hook attempt when Ali Bagautinov was getting back to his feet after the two battled on the ground. However, Baguatinov would attempt it too with both beginning to lack effect. They got out and stood up for some light striking throughout the remainder of the first.

Both would also make it out of the second round, with John Lineker leading on the scorecards in that five minute period as his striking prevailed. Ali Bagautinov was hurt at a few points, especially the body shot that damaged him and made him go for the takedown. With seconds remaining of the round, both swung wildly in an exciting exchange.

Ali Bagautinov dominated the third round with quality takedowns that hurt John Lineker from the impact of the slams to the canvas. Lineker's submission attempts just seemed way off and there may have been an injury on Lineker's attempt. Bagautinov also had time for some showboating when John Lineker attempted to submit him with a leg-lock, flexing his muscles and showing off to the crowd.

GIF Ali Bagautinov has no concerns and confidently showboats to the crowd

Alistair Overreem def. Frank Mir
via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Alistair Overreem dominated former UFC Champion Frank Mir to bounce back from a poor run in the UFC and dispatch a resilient opponent.

It was a big first round for Alistair Overreem. They traded strikes to open the round, and around two minutes in, Frank Mir would find himself in some huge trouble, as Alistair Overreem landed a huge knee and some punches that dropped Frank Mir. "The Reem" was able to pin back Mir's arm when unleashing big shots, but Frank Mir managed to display incredible resilience to get back up to his feet and trade yet again. Round One finished with Frank Mir on his back and Overreem landing a few shots from the ground.

Alistair Overreem dominated Frank Mir on the ground in the second round, and demonstrated his brute strength when he threw Frank Mir to the ground at ease. However, he was almost caught in a Guillotine choke from Mir, whose attempt was broken up with Overreem yet again utilizing his physical advantage. The final result though would be vicious elbows, with a landslide in ground strikes, cutting Mir open and dictating the fight.

In the third round, Alistair Overreem landed huge shots but none could finish Frank Mir in the fight, whose face was bloodied yet continued to fight on with little chance.

After his victory, Alistair Overreem addressed the rumors of former UFC Champion Brock Lesnar returning to the Octagon, and said "Well I'll be here waiting for him."


Alistair Overreem landed over 110 ground strikes during the fight.

Jose Aldo def. Ricardo Lamas
Co-Main Event: Jose Aldo retains UFC Featherweight Championship via Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)

Jose Aldo continued his impeccable run with the Featherweight strap as he put on a highly skilled performance to win by unanimous decision.


It was a conservative first two minutes into the fight, with Jose Aldo faking a lot of strikes just to see how much distance he had. Both men were matched evenly in the first round, but Jose Aldo put Ricardo Lamas in some trouble momentarily up against the cage. One of the biggest strikes in the feeling out round was Lamas' kick to the body that left a mark. Throughout the round, Jose Aldo continued to check the leg kicks from Ricardo Lamas.


Round Two went in the Champions' favor, as he turned it up a notch with leg kicks that really took its toll on Lamas' leg, as his leading leg gave in at one point in the second round. Ricardo Lamas attempted some wheel-kicks, but Aldo saw them coming and easily moved away.

Jose Aldo landed more huge leg kicks in the third round, utilizing his left to the body and right leg kick to damage Lamas further. Big shots were landed from the Brazilian but the fight would go into the Championship rounds.

Some fatigue was being shown on the part of the Champion as he took some deep breaths during the fourth round. We saw some of Aldo's highly-skilled ground game with a choke attempt, but Lamas was able to get out of it. Up to that point, Jose Aldo was perfect on takedown defense. They would go to the fifth and final round.

In the fifth round, Ricardo Lamas would impressively get ahead in his ground game and controlled for around two minutes. But, the Champion's defense was second-to-none and he managed to survive the onslaught. 


Jose Aldo's leg kicks were decisive in the fight.

Renãn Barao def. Urijah Faber
Main Event: Renan Barao retains UFC Bantamweight Championship via TKO of 3:42 in Round 1

Renan Barao once again retained his UFC Bantamweight Championship as he stopped Urijah Faber in the first round.

Both traded strikes early on, with Renan Barao edging ahead in the opening minute.


Renan Barao would unleash a barrage of huge strikes that would have Urijah Faber dazed and up against the fence, but his sheer toughness would help him survive, before Renan Barao landed a huge shot sending him straight to the canvas. Herb Dean stopped the fight with Barao landing shots on the ground, but Faber was unhappy and felt that it was premature.

Comment & Analysis: "Brazilians rise to occasion"

With the only thing from the preliminary card to note of is the controversial win that saw John Makdessi lose, it was quite a dull and action-deprived start to the night.

Abel Trujillo was victorious in an amazing fight to start the main card, we learnt some valuable lessons there, with that one shot knockout punch to emphatically finish the fight. What a great comeback, for me it is fight of the night and Trujillo gets knockout of the night too.

Ali Bagautinov looked great in his fight with John Lineker. For Lineker, his cardio was just not up to scratch for the fight and we really saw how far ahead Demetrius Johnson is, compared to others in his division.

Jose Aldo took out a game Ricardo Lamas to retain the Featherweight strap. Ricardo Lamas' heart was on full display as he powered through and really took control for the last two minutes. Other than that though, it was pretty much Jose Aldo's dominance with his highly skilled MMA in all aspects. You could put Jose Aldo's lacklustre final two minutes of the fight down to him just being exhausted, because for the rest of the fight he was great on the ground when the fight went there. 

Renan Barao had his work cut out with an opponent as tough as Urijah Faber. Faber was able to power through the initial big shots, but its a shame he feels hard-done-by for the debated premature stoppage.

In the Championship fights, they can be easily summed up in a phrase, the Brazilians rise to the occasion once again.

The UFC steps up to the plate for a great card on Super Bowl weekend. Two Champions keep their titles and rise above the rest, as Jose Aldo and Renan Barao are the victors yet again.
TheSportMatrix.com
 - Sports for the Fans, by the Fans.


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TheSportMatrix • We Live For Sport: Brazilians Still on Top as Barao, Aldo Retain Championships on Super Saturday at UFC 169
Brazilians Still on Top as Barao, Aldo Retain Championships on Super Saturday at UFC 169
Full report, comment and analysis for UFC 169 from the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Renan Barao battled Urijah Faber for the UFC Bantamweight strap in the main event.
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TheSportMatrix • We Live For Sport
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